Bequeathing a Coca-Cola bottle digging location in California

Welcome to our Antique Bottle community

Be a part of something great, join today!

Diggum

Member
Joined
Oct 23, 2011
Messages
9
Reaction score
6
Points
3
Anyone who is a Coca-Cola enthusiast, a digger, and who lives in the area might be interested in this. Ive been a lifelong bottle digger and collector, but my digging days are mostly behind me. When I was a kid my aunt gave me a book called "The Encyclopedia of Coca-Cola" because of my avid interest in Coke collectibles, especially bottles. Contained in the book was a listing of every bottling plant, including the address. That led to myself and a friend riding our bikes to an address on 2nd Street in San Rafael, California (where I grew up) to reconnoiter the area.

At that time a Kentucky Fried Chicken occupied the address (actually still does, but it's a combo KFC/Taco Bell in a modern building now), and parking lot which backs up to a canal. We got a bite to eat and went back to the old wharf to sit and eat. The wharf, at that time, was still in pretty good shape. As I sat and ate with my legs dangling over the side of the wharf, drumming the boards with my heels I noticed the boards were loose. We looked at each other and thought why not, so we pried one of the boards off and peered inside. There it was, a Coca-Cola bottle collectors dream; a muddy bank with bottles strewn as far as the light would allow to see. We couldn't believe it. We put the board back and rode home post-haste. (Too bad cell phones didn't exist then, I would have taken pictures.)

When we returned the next day at low tide (using my dad's tide table), with hip-boots (courtesy of our dad's) and flashlights, we made our way down the bank and to the "board", removed it and went in. Besides being startled by a couple of rats, we ended up retrieving well over 50 bottles that day and another 50+ a few days later. The second time there, we were flushed out of there by some old man yelling at us, so we took our haul and lit out. It was just as well because my mom and dad weren't to keen on me bringing home 50 old bottles covered in bay mud needing to be cleaned, but clean them I did.

The best of the bunch were 11 Christmas Cokes and 9 Big Chief's. All the rest were standard hobble skirt Cokes dating from the late 30's to the early 50's. The cities ranged from all over California. My hope of hopes was to find a straight side, but it wasn't to be. God only knows how many are still there. I did venture back there a few years later. The boardwalk had been removed and backfilled with dirt, covering the bank and bottles. A number of years after that we moved to Sonoma, California.

So, for any venturesome soul who is a devout Coca-Cola fan, there are more to be had, but in today's world permission would have to gotten. The wharf is extremely dilapidated now and probably won't be around for long. I would imagine it will be removed and the bank rebuilt and stabilized. For anyone interested, the address is 555 2nd Street, San Rafael, California. Attached are current photos of the location (courtesy Google Earth) and a couple of specimens from the collection.
 

Attachments

  • Coca-Cola Dig Site1.png
    Coca-Cola Dig Site1.png
    8.9 MB · Views: 193
  • Coca-Cola Dig Site.jpg
    Coca-Cola Dig Site.jpg
    1.1 MB · Views: 191
  • 20211215_102955.jpg
    20211215_102955.jpg
    1.6 MB · Views: 175
  • 20211215_102920.jpg
    20211215_102920.jpg
    1.3 MB · Views: 178
  • 20211215_102910.jpg
    20211215_102910.jpg
    1.5 MB · Views: 192

Mailman1960

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 31, 2020
Messages
1,227
Reaction score
1,540
Points
113
Location
Lyons, IL
Anyone who is a Coca-Cola enthusiast, a digger, and who lives in the area might be interested in this. Ive been a lifelong bottle digger and collector, but my digging days are mostly behind me. When I was a kid my aunt gave me a book called "The Encyclopedia of Coca-Cola" because of my avid interest in Coke collectibles, especially bottles. Contained in the book was a listing of every bottling plant, including the address. That led to myself and a friend riding our bikes to an address on 2nd Street in San Rafael, California (where I grew up) to reconnoiter the area.

At that time a Kentucky Fried Chicken occupied the address (actually still does, but it's a combo KFC/Taco Bell in a modern building now), and parking lot which backs up to a canal. We got a bite to eat and went back to the old wharf to sit and eat. The wharf, at that time, was still in pretty good shape. As I sat and ate with my legs dangling over the side of the wharf, drumming the boards with my heels I noticed the boards were loose. We looked at each other and thought why not, so we pried one of the boards off and peered inside. There it was, a Coca-Cola bottle collectors dream; a muddy bank with bottles strewn as far as the light would allow to see. We couldn't believe it. We put the board back and rode home post-haste. (Too bad cell phones didn't exist then, I would have taken pictures.)

When we returned the next day at low tide (using my dad's tide table), with hip-boots (courtesy of our dad's) and flashlights, we made our way down the bank and to the "board", removed it and went in. Besides being startled by a couple of rats, we ended up retrieving well over 50 bottles that day and another 50+ a few days later. The second time there, we were flushed out of there by some old man yelling at us, so we took our haul and lit out. It was just as well because my mom and dad weren't to keen on me bringing home 50 old bottles covered in bay mud needing to be cleaned, but clean them I did.

The best of the bunch were 11 Christmas Cokes and 9 Big Chief's. All the rest were standard hobble skirt Cokes dating from the late 30's to the early 50's. The cities ranged from all over California. My hope of hopes was to find a straight side, but it wasn't to be. God only knows how many are still there. I did venture back there a few years later. The boardwalk had been removed and backfilled with dirt, covering the bank and bottles. A number of years after that we moved to Sonoma, California.

So, for any venturesome soul who is a devout Coca-Cola fan, there are more to be had, but in today's world permission would have to gotten. The wharf is extremely dilapidated now and probably won't be around for long. I would imagine it will be removed and the bank rebuilt and stabilized. For anyone interested, the address is 555 2nd Street, San Rafael, California. Attached are current photos of the location (courtesy Google Earth) and a couple of specimens from the collection.
I got no dime but I got sometime to hear your story.
Can't beat a story with, Wharf and a Rat in it.
Giddy Up

Anyone who is a Coca-Cola enthusiast, a digger, and who lives in the area might be interested in this. Ive been a lifelong bottle digger and collector, but my digging days are mostly behind me. When I was a kid my aunt gave me a book called "The Encyclopedia of Coca-Cola" because of my avid interest in Coke collectibles, especially bottles. Contained in the book was a listing of every bottling plant, including the address. That led to myself and a friend riding our bikes to an address on 2nd Street in San Rafael, California (where I grew up) to reconnoiter the area.

At that time a Kentucky Fried Chicken occupied the address (actually still does, but it's a combo KFC/Taco Bell in a modern building now), and parking lot which backs up to a canal. We got a bite to eat and went back to the old wharf to sit and eat. The wharf, at that time, was still in pretty good shape. As I sat and ate with my legs dangling over the side of the wharf, drumming the boards with my heels I noticed the boards were loose. We looked at each other and thought why not, so we pried one of the boards off and peered inside. There it was, a Coca-Cola bottle collectors dream; a muddy bank with bottles strewn as far as the light would allow to see. We couldn't believe it. We put the board back and rode home post-haste. (Too bad cell phones didn't exist then, I would have taken pictures.)

When we returned the next day at low tide (using my dad's tide table), with hip-boots (courtesy of our dad's) and flashlights, we made our way down the bank and to the "board", removed it and went in. Besides being startled by a couple of rats, we ended up retrieving well over 50 bottles that day and another 50+ a few days later. The second time there, we were flushed out of there by some old man yelling at us, so we took our haul and lit out. It was just as well because my mom and dad weren't to keen on me bringing home 50 old bottles covered in bay mud needing to be cleaned, but clean them I did.

The best of the bunch were 11 Christmas Cokes and 9 Big Chief's. All the rest were standard hobble skirt Cokes dating from the late 30's to the early 50's. The cities ranged from all over California. My hope of hopes was to find a straight side, but it wasn't to be. God only knows how many are still there. I did venture back there a few years later. The boardwalk had been removed and backfilled with dirt, covering the bank and bottles. A number of years after that we moved to Sonoma, California.

So, for any venturesome soul who is a devout Coca-Cola fan, there are more to be had, but in today's world permission would have to gotten. The wharf is extremely dilapidated now and probably won't be around for long. I would imagine it will be removed and the bank rebuilt and stabilized. For anyone interested, the address is 555 2nd Street, San Rafael, California. Attached are current photos of the location (courtesy Google Earth) and a couple of specimens from the collection.
 

SKS.TUSC

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 24, 2021
Messages
85
Reaction score
63
Points
18
Location
N.E. Ohio
I got no dime but I got sometime to hear your story.
Can't beat a story with, Wharf and a Rat in it.
Giddy Up
Lol, not gonna lie, I stopped and opened up a new tab to look up what a wharf was hahaha but in all seriousness I kinda didn't want the story to end. Thanks
 

Latest posts

Members online

Latest threads

Forum statistics

Threads
83,324
Messages
743,598
Members
24,353
Latest member
Hayden.Brown
Top